Allen was always tormented by his older brother James and his practical jokes. Only two years separated their ages but they were drastically different emotionally. James was out-going and a practical joker just like his dad. Allen was more emotional and thoughtful of other's feeling like his mom. He was not a momma's boy or anything like that. He just would never be the boy that put lizards down the girls' pants as his brother did.
The first Halloween after Allen started intermediate school he was fretful from the boogey man stories James and the older boys had been telling after dark when they were checking their loot for their favorite candy bars and chocolates. As was his custom, James had planned a middle of the night scare for his younger brother. He had rigged their bedroom with some of their dad's monofilament fishing line so that he could make the drapes move, the closet door open and a big rubber spider drop from the ceiling over Allen's bed all while pretending to be asleep in his bed under the covers.
Allen suspected his brother was up to his old tricks and had decided it was time to turn the tables on James. He had caught a squirrel in a live trap and it was stashed in the back yard. He had of course kept it well fed and watered because he had no quarrel with the squirrel, just James. His plan was to wrap his brother's legs together with Saran Wrap after he fell asleep and rig the trap so that the animal emerged from the trap into a paper grocery bag under his bed. All he had to do was let James play his prank, appear frightened and scared, then once James went back to sleep put his plan into action.
Everything went just as James had planned. The curtains moved back and forth. The closet door creaked open. The rubber spider plopped on Allen's face. Allen screamed and cried. Their mother came in to console the youngest child and scolded the oldest. Mom escorted Allen to the kitchen to calm him down.
"Is everything set?" Allen asked his accomplice. A twelve-year old needed help setting up this elaborate plan. In addition, who was going to clean up after the squirrel?
"Yes dear, are you really sure you want to do this?" Mom knew her baby needed to stand up to his brother, but she couldn't help but feel sad he was growing up too fast.
"Yeah mom, he really needs a dose of his own medicine." He went and brought the trap containing the squirrel into the house while his mom got the plastic wrap. He waited in the hall while she made sure James was asleep. Luckily, James tossed and kicked so that none of his covers ever stayed tucked in so it was simple to uncover his feet while he slept. Allen held his sibling's legs up while their mother wound the clear wrap around his lower legs four times and replaced the covers. The young boy had thought up a clever twist on his own using a couple of clothespins and a rubber band. The same pull string that released the animal would dislodge the clothes spins and the wound rubber band would assure the squirrel came out of the cage like a bull at a rodeo.
Next, he used a couple of rubber bands to attach the bag to the end of the cage and gently slid the contraption under his tormentor's bed. He placed some wadded up clothes under the covers of his own bed to appear that he was huddled under his blanket; and then opened the bedroom window to give the animal an exit point. Finally, he un-spooled some kite string, ran it under the door and closed it leaving himself a couple feet of string past the door in the hallway to spring his surprise. He was so excited his breathing and heart rate appeared as if he had run from the end of the street. He told himself to calm down and he placed his hands on the wall and took deep breaths to calm himself.
He pulled on the string.